Prince William Sound Aboard m/v Discovery

Prince William Sound Aboard m/v Discovery

The “Alaska Season” is pretty short by Lower 48 standards.  May through September is about it.  We decided it was about time we see some of the wonders of that wonderful, wild place.  Since we can’t help ourselves, when an interesting adventure that centers around a boat, we opted to join a Sierra Club Adventure to PrinceWilliam sound aboard the classic motor vessel DiscoverySitting just off Harriman glacier.

Waiting Off Harriman Glacier

Click here to see a short a video slide show of our amazing adventure…

There was no shortage of critters in Prince William Sound…
Glad we were downwind from this amazing gang of Sea Lions
Sea Lions near Dutch Group, Prince William Sound

Around every bend we we were entertained by Otters like these guys
Sea Otter Along Port Wells, Prince William Sound

There’s nothing quite like a Dall’s Porpoise enjoying the bow wave
Dall's Porpoise Along Port Wells, Prince William Sound

I was anticipating at least a few bears getting in a late meal of salmon. Unfortunately, by late September all we saw of the salmon were their scattered remains. Consequently, the bears where no where to be seen.

We saw only a couple of humpback whales during our week on the sound. And they were a long way off spoiling any photo ops. I suspect most were already headed out on their migration to warmer waters to the south.

A few more Discovery pic’s…
Coriena

Harriman Glacier

Day 5 Hike

Day 5 Hike

Waiting Off Harriman Glacier

Christmas in Baltimore

Christmas in Baltimore

Last year we spent Christmas in Denver.  Cold and snowy.  This year we headed to the opposite coast.  Dustin and Chrissie made sure it would be sunny and warmer than San Diego.  But, it wasn’t the promise of warm weather that got us heading to Baltimore.  It was our first chance to see and spoil our new grandson…Carter!

IMG_4998

Not sure how Chrissie managed at being a new Mommy and organizer of a Dingman Family/Howard Family Christmas get-a-way to the mountains a few hours outside of Baltimore, but she did.

good times were had by all…IMG_4941

IMG_4997

IMG_4906

IMG_4928

IMG_4921

IMG_5052

IMG_5007

The Christmas Eve party brought out the best in all of us…
IMG_4900

IMG_4894

IMG_4892

IMG_4891

Our Latest Edition

Our Latest Edition

2015 was a great year in many ways. But, topping the bill was the birth of Carter on November 21.. Chrissie and Dustin “done good!”

IMG_3657

IMG_3564

IMG_3708

Tucker took in all in stride…
IMG_4863

East coast Invasion

East coast Invasion

End of June through the 1st week of July found us on the “other” coast. It was an important trip on two counts.
Julia has had a great year and qualified for the Nationals in NYC. She took her two solos, a duet and six group numbers. Amazing!! Her group tap number “I Mean It” took 1st overall!!

When not watching dance we had a chance to see some of Manhattan. It was a wild few days.

Click on the image and scroll down through the slide show…

New York City

We flew into Baltimore to start the trip with Dustin, Christina and Tucker. We caught an Orioles’ game, enjoyed an afternoon trip to St. Michaels, MD and watched 4th of July fireworks from their balcony. Lots of good old, wine and laughs!

Baltimore

Joshua National Park

Joshua National Park

When we left Quartzite we made a side trip on the way home. Despite it being in our backyard, we had never been to Joshua. One of our newer National Parks, Joshua is spectacular. It’s where the Mojave and Sonoran deserts meet. Where one begins and the other stops has be marked by their elevations and, thus the kinds of vegetation you’ll find in each of our great deserts. The Sonoran is a low desert and famous for the stately Saguaro Cactus. We spent our three days in the north end of the park defined by the high Mojave Desert.

The higher elevations are the home of the Joshua…
wpid1840-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-191412-0238.jpg

wpid1854-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-204512-0584.jpg

wpid1862-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-205712-0680.jpg

wpid1848-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-203538-0491.jpg

The geologic history of the area has resulted in some of most spectacular rock formations you will find anywhere.

According to Wikipedia…”The rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park were formed more than 100 million years ago from the cooling of magma beneath the surface into monzogranite, with roughly rectangular joints. Groundwater then filtered through the joints to erode away the corners and edges to create rounded stones, and flash floods washed away covering ground to create piles of boulders.[9] These prominent outcrops are known as inselbergs.”

We hiked for hours among these great formations…
wpid1872-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150128-172518-0875.jpg

wpid1870-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150128-172359-0865.jpg

wpid1868-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150128-171932-0838.jpg

wpid1864-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-210030-0696.jpg

wpid1860-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-205331-0653.jpg

wpid1858-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-205104-0631.jpg

wpid1850-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-204019-0522.jpg

Local Native Americans left their message for us…
wpid1844-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150127-195724-0460.jpg

wpid1832-Joshua-Jan-2015-20150126-202052-1295.jpg